Gentlemen, may I recommend you read my book "Golden Age of New Zealand Flying boats" The complete details of No.700 Catapult Flight which was the organisation that provided the Walrus Seaplanes for HMS Achilles and Leander is covered. The ships were fitted for catapult aircraft when delivered and Walrus aircraft were provided, flown by Navy pilots but serviced by the RNZAF. In 1942 the catapults were removed and the aircraft transferred to the RNZAF
Post by Dave Homewood on Jul 24, 2008 14:09:25 GMT 12
Indeed, it's a fantastic book, one I have unfortunately not yet got in my collection bt have borrowed a few times. I'd forgotten the catapults were removed in 1942. You and I both have interviewed Eric Ford. He's still going strong well into his mid 90's and recently he went for a microlight flight!
HMS Ajax was initially fitted with four single 4" (102 mm) and three quad 0.5" (12.7 mm) anti-aircraft guns, as well as carrying an Hawker Osprey observation aircraft. She also carried eight 21" (533 mm) torpedo tubes. In 1937, the single 4" guns were replaced with dual 4" guns and the Osprey replaced by a Fairey Seafox.
Bruce made mention in reply #14 on the Ajax thread that
Achilles had a Walrus at the time and the story I had heard suggested Exeter and Ajax were similarly equipped. (Achilles later had the catapault removed and the walrus was transferred to the RNZAF). Thanks for the info.
I know there's a lot of money in aviation because I put it there.
Bruce, I missed your earlier post (we were a minute apart) and missed the Seafox reference at Wickipedia, anyway it looks to me as if the lineage was three aircraft: Osprey, then SeaFox (not for long) Walrus (with ACHILLES being the first) ?
It would seem that your question probably needed a time period . With regards to the River Plate action the aircraft carried at that time are well recorded and was the Seafox , at least one other ship involved carried the Walrus but this was damaged early in the action .
Yes a lot of confusion and this extra info below perhaps will help discount the Seafox? I guess a lot of the impressions of when aircraft were in service and which ones depends on the order in which the information is found on the web and the credibility/usefulness of it. I reckon the RN FAA pages should be credible - they do not mention the Seafox for Achilles but it was in use with the RAAF/RAN ships. Next follows 'what I found today':
A number of Walruses were also loaned to the RAAF in HMAS Hobart (November 1939), HMAS Sydney (1939-1941), Walruses also served with 9 squadron RAAF on HMAS Westralia (November 1942), HMAS Australia (1942-1943), also to 700 New Zealand Flight July 1940, HMNZS Achilles (February 1941), HMNZS Leander (April 1942).
Walrus deliveries started in 1936 when the first example to be deployed was with the New Zealand division of the Royal Navy, on HMS Achilles (later a victor of the Battle of the River Plate). _______________________________
"Despite obsolescence the Seafox was involved in a number of conflicts. A Fairey Seafox, K8582 or K8591, from 718 squadron from HMS Ajax spotted over the German ship Graf Spee during the Battle of the River P, its crew of Lt EDG Lewin and Lt REN Kearney were awarded the DSC and MID."
No mention of a Seafox for HMS or HMNZS Achilles on this web page? ______________________________
"I am the apeman, I am the walrus, kookookichooo..." Beatles song. ;D
Last Edit: Jul 26, 2008 16:44:32 GMT 12 by FlyNavy
"When WW2 broke out in Europe several Seagulls travelled to the Mediterranean on board their allocated cruiser. The remaining Seagulls operated in Australian waters. One Seagull captained by Flying Officer L.G. Webber, was attached to a New Zealand Cruiser HMNZS Achilles." (Supermarine Seagull V amphibious aircraft. They were known as the Walrus by the RAF.)
1940 HMS Achilles returns Home nz.youtube.com/watch?v=QQGZRlABIq0 Added: July 16, 2008 British Newsreel. March 21, 1940.HMNZS Achilles was a Leander class cruiser which served with the Royal New Zealand Navy in World War II. She became famous for her part in the Battle of the River Plate, alongside HMS Ajax and HMS Exeter.She was the second of five ships of the Leander class light cruisers, designed as effective follow-ons to the York class. Upgraded to Improved Leander class, she was capable of carrying an aircraft, becoming the first ship to carry a Supermarine Walrus although this was removed before the war.Achilles was originally built for the Royal Navy, and was commissioned as HMS Achilles on October 10, 1933. She served with the Royal Navy's New Zealand Division from March 31, 1937 up to the creation of the Royal New Zealand Navy, into which she was transferred in September 1941, renamed as HMNZS Achilles. Her crew was approximately 60% from New Zealand.On the outbreak of the Second World War, Achilles started patrolling the west coast of South America looking for German merchant ships, but by 22 October 1939 she had arrived at the Falkland Islands, where she was assigned to the South American Division under Commodore Henry Harwood and allocated to Force G (HMS Exeter and Cumberland).In the early morning of 1939-12-13 a force consisting of Achilles, HMS Ajax and Exeter detected smoke on the horizon, which was confirmed at 06:16 to be a pocket battleship, thought to be Admiral Scheer but which turned out to be the Admiral Graf Spee. A fierce battle ensued, at a range of approximately 20 km (22,000 yards). Achilles took some damage: four crew were killed, and her captain, W. E. Parry was injured. In the exchange of fire 36 of Graf Spee's crew were killed. The range reduced to about four miles (7 km) at around 07:15 and Admiral Graf Spee broke off the engagement around 07:45 to head for the neutral harbour of Montevideo which she entered at 22:00 that night, having been pursued by Achilles and Ajax all day. She was forced by international law to leave with 72 hours. Faced with what he believed to be overwhelming odds, the captain of the Admiral Graf Spee, Hans Langsdorff, scuttled his ship rather than risk the lives of his crew.Following the battle, Achilles returned to Auckland, New Zealand on 23 February 1940, where she was refitted until June. After Japan entered the war, she escorted troop convoys, then joined the ANZAC squadron in the south west Pacific. While operating off New Georgia with U.S. forces, she was hit by a bomb on X turret on 5 January 1943. She was repaired at Portsmouth from April 1943 to May 1944, during which X turret was replaced by four two-pounders. Sent to the Eastern Fleet, Achilles then joined the British Pacific Fleet (Task Force 57) in May 1945 for final operations in the Pacific.After the war, Achilles was returned to the Royal Navy at Sheerness, Kent, England on 17 September 1946. She was then sold to the Indian Navy and recommissioned on 5 July 1948 as INS Delhi. She remained in service until decommissioned for scrap at Bombay on 30 June 1978. As part of the scrapping her Y turret was removed and given as a gift to the New Zealand government, it is now on display at the entrance of Devonport RNZN Base in Auckland.
Supermarine Walrus in Action nz.youtube.com/watch?v=4-2UAXblTUE Walrus deliveries started in 1936 when the first example to be deployed was with the New Zealand division of the Royal Navy, on HMS Achilles (later a victor of the Battle of the River Plate). By the start of World War II the Walrus was in widespread use, and saw service in home waters, the Mediterranean and the Far East. Walrus are credited with sinking or damaging at least five enemy submarines, while RAF use in home waters was mainly in the air-sea rescue role. One Walrus, HD874, (Restored and exhibited at the RAAF Museum, Point Cook, Victoria) was still in service in 1947 with the Australian Antarctic Expedition.
vgp, no worries. It took me some time to figure out that there was a video on that site - should have made that clearer. However the description about flying a Walrus and doing aerobatics is just the best. ;D
Post by Dave Homewood on Jun 9, 2011 15:29:40 GMT 12
I have not found any crew lists even for their most famous action at the Battle of the River Plate. I think the Navy Museum at Devonport or the National Archives in Wellington are the only places you'll find such lists.
Hard to find any complete information on crews for Achilles, Ajax or Exeter. I have tried, my Great Uncle was on Ajax at the Battle of River Plate and the only list of names I can find dedicated to Ajax are the street names in the small Canadian town named after the ship. There is a comprehensive list of Royal Navy fatalities by ship/action but I don't have the website bookmarked.
I know there's a lot of money in aviation because I put it there.
Post by Dave Homewood on Jun 9, 2011 22:23:14 GMT 12
We have Achilles Avenue here in Cambridge, named after the ship after six Cambridge men were onboard during the Battle of the River Plate. one of them, Archie Shaw, was killed in the battle.
Names i can offer of people who were aboard from Cambridge during the Battle of the River Plate from Cambridge are" - Archibald Cooper Hirst Shaw (killed in Action) - Charles Wallace Care - Stanley Keeley - Stanley Lorimer - Arthur Speight - Maxwell Wallace
Later in the war Eric Ford (RNZAF) joined the crew too, as mechanic to the Walrus. He lived in Cambridge from 1946 till his death a couple of years ago.
Another Achilles sailor in the BOTRP was Bully Martinson. He's the guy that hoisted the NZ ensign during the battle.
I know of a chap in Matamata who served aboard the ship in the Pacific too. I am trying to recall his name.